Keyword research isn’t as scary as it sounds – in fact, we like to explain it with a stock market analogy: you research the stocks (keywords), buy them (implement them on your site), and monitor the market (monitor your rankings). That makes it sound quite easy, right?
The phrase ‘keyword research’ gives many the same feelings as ‘dissertation’ but it really can be summed up in just three simple steps, three steps that JSL Marketing & Web Design would love to share with you.
Of course, everything takes practice, and our keyword researchers and SEO gurus have thousands of hours of practice – but that doesn’t mean you can’t understand the process too!
Let’s dissect keyword research together, and hopefully, make it a little less intimidating.
Step One: Understanding Keyword Research
Before you can begin creating your SEO strategy, it’s important to be absolutely sure that the proper keyword research has been done. But what is keyword research exactly?
In short, keyword research involves determining what words or phrases are being searched by your target audience – or, put more plainly – what are your customers typing into Google currently?
Let’s say you sell tacos (yay for you!), what words would your taco-searching customers be typing into their preferred search engine in order to find your restaurant? Maybe they’re searching for phrases like ‘best tacos in ___’ or ‘Mexican restaurants near me’.
If you are in the area, then you want to be sure that your business pops up at the top of the search results for searches/phrases (keywords) like these. Otherwise, you’ll never be found.
After you know the words/phrases (keywords) your customers are already searching for, you are ready to begin using SEO to climb your business to the tippy-top of those searches. By being in the top three results, you can beat out your competition and bring more traffic to your website.
Step Two: Prep & Strategy
This step involves discovering what those frequently-searched words are from above. After all, what if only 3 people are searching ‘best tacos in ___’ a month? That will hardly help your business when the average price of a taco is just a couple dollars. The keywords you want to target should not only be relevant to your industry, but also have high search volume, meaning lots of people are searching for it.
Let’s say ‘best tacos in ___’ gets 15 searches a month, but ‘best tacos near me’ gets 1,500. Which one should you be targeting on your site? Obviously the second, right?
Knowing some of these key analytics can guide you in the correct direction – which means you have to have an analytics tool. We recommend SEMrush, but there are many options out there (in fact, a simple ‘keyword research tool’ search on Google will give you many great tools of differing price points).
Step Three: Implementation & Content Calendars
Now by this step you know what keywords are, you know how to research them to find the one that works best for you and will give you the best return on your investment, but what do you do with them?
You use them, of course!
First, we usually create an editorial calendar, or a content calendar, where we show our clients exactly what we will be posting on their behalf, and when. Everything we post for them will include direct keywords or what’s called ‘semantically related keywords’ which are similar enough that Google can recognize and helps both the SEO and the readability of the content.
Next, we begin to work on their content, making sure that the keywords that have been selected and researched show up in their H1, H2, H3s, Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, copy, etc. Of course, this could get weird if you just keep writing ‘tacos, tacos, tacos’ over and over, which is why we usually recommend 4-5 keywords targeted per page.
This means one H2 can read ‘The Best Taco’s in ___’ and the next can read ‘Desperately Searching for ‘Tacos Near Me’? Search No More!’ and so on.
And after you implement your keywords – all you have to do it wait, monitor, tweak, and repeat. SEO is a constant process, and though it’s time-consuming, it isn’t overly difficult to learn.
See, Keyword Research Isn’t So Bad! Not Convinced? Want Someone to Do It for You? JSL Marketing & Web Design Is Here!
If you don’t have the time to discover and learn a research tool, find your keywords, make a calendar, implement your words on your site, and monitor your rankings – you’re not alone! JSL Marketing works with many clients who understand the basics of keyword research and SEO but just don’t have the time to do all the work or practice enough to become efficient.
I mean, you have a business to run, right? We think that’s work enough.